Suggestions that the iPhone 5 wouldn’t launch until the third quarter have been called into doubt today by fresh leaks from Korean mobile phone networks.
Last week, reports surfaced that Apple is delaying the release of its next-gen handset until August or September, amid component shortages and stringent vetting intended to avoid a repeat of the antenna problems that blighted the iPhone 4.
The purported move would mark a sea change in Apple’s release date habit for annual refreshes of iDevices, with new iterations showing up in June like clockwork every year since it the iPhone first dropped back in 2007.
However, if Korean carriers SK Telecom and KT cited by ET News are to be believed, Apple is planning nothing of the sort. According to the loose-lipped sources, the Cupertino–based company has informed the networks that iPhone 5 will launch in June as usual.
But rather than breaking cover at the WWDC event in early June – as is now standard – the phone will apparently debut at a special press call later that month.
For what it’s worth, we’re taking the rumour with a pinch of salt. We can believe that Apple wants to delay the release until later in year. And we’re equally credulous that it could press ahead with its now time-honoured early June release, too.
However, talk of a second press event in June doesn’t add up. If only because it makes scant sense to push back the handset by a matter of weeks when the eyes of the world’s press are already on Apple that month. In fact, it’d actually risk diluting the impact of the handset if folk have already seen the new OS iteration it’ll run.
This week Apple confirmed it is holding its time-honoured annual developers conference cum product showcase in June. For the last three years, the event has been marked by the launch of the new gen iPhone.
However, anyone holding out until then for the iPhone 5 is likely to be disappointed. According to Japanese blog Macotakara, the next Apple smartphone is highly unlikely to show until October at the earliest, meaning that it would not contribute to Apple’s financial year which ends in September.
Sources cited by the site have reportedly revealed that Apple has yet to start ordering parts for the phone, suggesting it won’t be anywhere near ready to go launch in just two months time.
Should the reports be correct, it would mean that the WWDC will be a software-only event notable only for the arrival of a new iteration of Apple’s iOS operating system.